CFL DFS Week Two: Pinky Promise You’ll Use Trevor Harris
Welcome to the second week of the CFL DFS season! The season started with a bang as three of the four road teams were victorious and the action was so wild that one player threw for almost 300 yards and three touchdowns in less than one half of football. I’m beginning to think the “C” in CFL stands for Crazy, not Canadian. Let’s get a quick refresher on the rules that we need to be cognizant of heading into the slate in week two.
For those new to the CFL, each weekend just four games are played, so we’re going to see small slates exclusively. This is just one of the many differences from the NFL and CFL season. Other important rules to know before playing CFL DFS include:
- Three downs to earn the first down (not four)
- End zones are 20-yards deep
- The field is 110 yards long (compared to 100)
- Receivers can go in motion so they are running full speed upfield as the ball is snapped
Ottawa at Montreal (PK)
Ottawa Team Total – 26.5
Montreal Team Total – 26.5
Last week I loved the Ottawa offense and we saw why when they stepped on the field against Edmonton. Even though starter Henry Burris got hurt in the third quarter, Trevor Harris threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns. He looked at Chris Williams early and often, catapulting him to a monster day (8/176/2). These two should be considered the best options at their respective positions this week. Ernest Jackson is a guy to really like with his $7,600 price tag, and as long as he is listed as a starter for the game (did not finish last game/limped off in final seconds of fourth quarter), he should be considered the next best option through the air. Brad Sinopoli comes in as the third target, but shouldn’t be frowned upon because of it. He ended with a great game last week (9/84/1). Greg Ellingson is another relevant receiver in the offense. His price point hurts his value, as he’s the seventh most expensive receiver on the board, but he had a very productive week one (5/96/0). At that price you can’t roll him out unless you’re playing in multi-entry tournaments. Ottawa’s fifth receiver, Jake Harty, makes for a great two-game slate tournament option, but becomes an option in all formats if Jackson sits. Travon Van flashed skills in the second half of last game, but his price and lack of usage warrants little attention this week. (UPDATE: Van poses as a great cash game option on second thought. He ranks ahead of Chris Rainey in that department and is the safest and cheapest option at the position.) The Redblacks defense is in play with their price point being so low and Montreal failing to impress in week one.
Montreal’s offense is led by the veteran, Kevin Glenn. Even though he posted 322 passing yards in week one, he accounted for just one touchdown. Glenn has talent, but struggled with pressure last week. I’ll be respectfully fading him this week. His best receiver, Duron Carter – a big NFL type receiver – made a lot of plays for him in week one. These two actually connected for a 40-yard touchdown, but it was negated by a holding penalty. Even then, Carter caught seven passes for 69 yards, running routes short and long. He also was the fourth highest rusher after week one, rushing for 47 yards. Carter makes for a great cash game option, but in tournaments I’d rather pay up for Williams or go down to the $7,000 range for value. S.J. Green had a great week one, but we’re not going to jump to conclusions on future performance. I wasn’t all that impressed with his overall skills and while his price is tempting ($6,900), I’d rather use that money on Sinopoli than Green who has the better quarterback. Kenny Stafford got banged up during the game, but came back to record a catch late. We’re not targeting him, but his availablity is worth mentioning considering his price ($5,100). At running back, Tyrell Sutton is one of the few running backs worth using at the flex position. He is the second leading rusher after week one (66 yards last week) and looked great with the ball in his hands, hauling in four passes for 39 yards. John White was very effective out of the backfield for Edmonton, torching the Redblacks in week 1. As a result, I’ll target Sutton as an obvious option in the backfield this week.
Toronto at Saskatchewan (-2.5)
Toronto Team Total – 24.5
Saskatchewan Team Total – 27
Toronto’s offensive line really hampers the team’s potential, but there are plenty of options to pick from this team. Ricky Ray isn’t a guy I’ll be targeting with Trevor Harris and Darian Durant in the same slate. To go along with a weak offensive line, he also lost one of his top targets, Kevin Elliot, to injury last week (currently listed as questionable for this game). Vidal Hazelton had a big game in week one (7/61/2) and still has an affordable price tag. He poses as a nice pivot from Ernest Jackson and should be considered a great option if you choose not to pay up at the receiver position. If Elliot is out, Hazelton could see big targets. Tori Gurley caught five passes for 59 yards in week one even though Elliot was out for over half the game. His price is too steep to be considered. Kenny Shaw on the other hand replaced Elliot with great success (7/109/0). His price doesn’t reflect that big game and he should be treated as a great value play. Brandon Whitaker received just six touches in week one due to his offensive line struggling out of the gate to open holes for him. He’s untouchable at this point in the season.
Saskatchewan’s offense is a bit of a mystery, but we do know that Darian Durant is the man leading the offense at quarterback. Injuries have held him back in recent years, but he’s a former 4,000-yard passer (three times) and has even thrown for 5,500 yards (2010). For the two-game slate, I’m looking at Trevor Harris to be my main quarterback in all formats, but Durant is worth tournament usage because of what he has shown in the past. Nobody really knows how the running backs will be used this season (or who will be the main guy) so we’re avoiding this situation completely. Instead, we’re looking at two Roughriders’ receivers, Naaman Roosevelt and Rob Bagg. Bagg is coming off three ACL injuries, but should remain a top two target for Durant. Roosevelt was Durant’s favorite target during the preseason and looks to pick on a secondary that couldn’t make any plays against Jeremiah Masoli last week. Roosevelt will be my main target in this matchup because of his ability to make big plays and get down the field (25/488/5 last season). With the team having an implied total of 27 this week, you need to find a way to get some exposure to this offense.
BC at Hamilton (-6.5)
BC Team Total – 22
Hamilton Team Total – 28.5
There isn’t a whole lot of potential when it comes to this BC Lions offense. Jonathon Jennings played fine in week one throwing for 248 yards, but the Lions struggled to score – outside of the amazing Chris Rainey. Rainey is one of those returners we have to be careful of overvaluing because of their ability to return kicks. He scored twice last weekend, but is only worth a limited amount of usage. Rainey’s ownership levels should be fairly high. The Tiger-Cats defense was outstanding in week one, so I’m avoiding Jennings and most of his receivers. One receiver I’m looking to target is Shawn Gore, who caught seven passes for 67 yards in week one. At his price ($3,800), I’m more than fine using him in tournaments (over Harty and Joe West).
Hamilton is tied for the highest team total in this slate with a projected 28.5 points. Jeremiah Masoli is a great option at quarterback after a three touchdown and 318 yard performance in week one. While the Argonauts defense didn’t do a whole lot to put pressure on Masoli or make any plays in the secondary, Masoli showed enough to look past that bad defensive performance. He’s a great way to fit a receiver like Chris Williams or Duron Carter over those mid-7k receivers. C.J. Gable was irrelevant when it came to the passing game, but had a solid day on the ground (11/48/0). With no potential scoring in the passing game, I can’t possibly justify recommending him at his price tag. Luke Tasker is a very safe option at receiver, but his price tag really limits how I want to use him. Like Carter, he too caught a touchdown pass that was negated due to a holding penalty. At $8,300, I’d rather pay up for a much safer receiver in Duron Carter. While I like Tasker, he’s a tournament only play. The more appealing receiver for the Tiger-Cats is Chad Owens. People doubted him due to age and being on a new offense, but he showed up big in the opener, catching six passes for 67 yards and one touchdown. Masoli had him open deep, but just barely overthrew him. If rostering Masoli then Owens makes complete sense. Keep an eye on Terrence Toliver and his health this week. It sounds like he’ll be good to go and if he does play then it’ll slightly impact these next two receivers. Andy Fantuz and Brandon Banks are going to get touches no matter Toliver’s status, but it would be better if Toliver was out or limited. Fantuz was frequently targeted last week and it showed with his production (7/99/1). It’s hard picking between him and Banks because the latter was electric in the return game for Hamilton and they were priced similarly. Flip a coin or ask your girlfriend. It’s a toss up, but if I had to choose one I’d pick Banks because he’s not solely dependent on Masoli. Hamilton’s defense is the top defense in this slate. They were impressive in the opener, bringing down the Argonauts quarterback six times! BC really struggled to get punts off and they have one of the worst quarterbacks playing in the slate, so this one is very obvious.
Winnipeg at Calgary (-8.5)
Winnipeg Team Total – 20
Calgary Team Total – 28.5
Winnipeg’s offense looked downright awful in week one and will likely have one of their top two receivers out for this game (Weston Dressler). Drew Willy put up a respectable stat line in the opener (303 passing yards and one touchdown), but shouldn’t be considered with a price similar to Trevor Harris. One of the best tournament options this week is Andrew Harris, the leading rusher in the CFL after one game. He ran for 80 yards on 13 carries and even added six catches for 40 yards in his Winnipeg debut. Most of that production came in the second half, which coincides with the little success the team had offensively. Do the Blue Bombers understand that Harris is the key to the offense or do they fall back on their struggling ways by looking elsewhere? Who knows what the coaches are thinking and with Calgary stifling the run game last week, I’m going to use Harris in tournaments only. Darvin Adams had the most success last week (5/105/1), but most of that came from one 63-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. With similar price tags to Jackson, Hazelton, Roosevelt, Owens and Sinopoli, Adams shouldn’t be considered but in the most contrarian of lineups. Ryan Smith is the team’s supposed top receiver, but again is untouchable considering his price tag and lack of chemistry so far with Willy at quarterback.
Calgary is tied for the highest implied team total with 28.5, but I’m not exactly seeing it out of their offense. If I were a betting man (LOL) I’d be on the under. I was high on both Bo Levi Mitchell and Jerome Messam last week and for the most part they severely disappointed. I’m going to fade both of these two offensive weapons and look more at the value options coming from the team to get exposure to the high total. Kamar Jorden’s price is $6,100 and provides a pivot from receivers like Banks, Fantuz, and Sinopoli. If Calgary is to score four touchdowns then Jorden will have at least one of them. He caught three passes for 73 yards and one touchdown last week. Joe West is a $4,000 option that is more appealing than Harty from Ottawa, but falls behind Gore and Shaw in my personal rankings. He saw seven targets in week one, only catching three passes. My worry is that while he was given ample chances to make plays for the Stampeders, he lacks overall talent to make big plays. With a high total, I’m willing to use West in multi-entry tournaments to provide for variance in my lineups. Calgary’s defense played very well last week, giving up just 20 points to BC, including an early touchdown return by Chris Rainey. Winnipeg’s team total of just 20 is the lowest on the slate.
Got something to say? Jump in the CFL Week 2 thread that’s currently underway in our forums!